Today it will be a more philosophichal post. I Think it is very important to find a balance in Life. In that sense that you do what you really want to do. You only got one Life, and you decide what it should contains. Whith a mind that is dedicated you will be able to reach your goals.
I get up early in the mornings, this means I got time to Catch up all things I want to do. I am also dedicated in almost all things I do:-). At the gym, I am very efficeient. A older man, at the gym where I workout was told of one of the members that the grey haired man was ”killing” the air assault bike(workout bike). He told him, that guy, he just workout when he is here. And that is true I am dedicated… I was having a goal to become guide, and today I am. So ir you are reade to focus, stay dedicated and sacriface then you will earn the target. The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information. Your ”inner” dialogue must be positive and force you to feel good. For me the procedures and routines has become a good habit for reaching my targets. It might sounds a bit boring, but for me it makes Life easy, and I almost Always reach my Dreams target… We are all such a fantastic persons and have the oppertunity to be able to create miracles. So just get out there and get your targets, and live your Dream. But remeber; Watching somone else totally go for it can be incredible upsetting for a person who spent a Lifetime building a solidcase for why they themselves cant..
This week I have initiated the test of Taigas Oakland jacket. A Three layer of Gore-Tex. This Product is developed for ”Heavy duty” and is produced togather with the military. For beeing a Three layer jacket I Think it is very flexible. So it will be interesting to continue the testing.
When it comes to mountaineering, the safety is very important area. All of us who deal with this type of activity (Climbing, Via Ferrata, mountaineering) always see the UIAA marking on our equipment, but honest, not so many of us reflect on what it is. The UIAA stands for Union Internationale des Assiations d’Alpinism. It was grounded in 1932 in Chamonix. Today it represents more than three million climbers and mountaineers from 90 different countries. The organization has also been recognized by the International Olympic committee since 1995. When it comes to the safety area the organization already in 1960 founded the UIAA label for approved climbing gear. Preserving the spirit and tradition area, Promoting the responsible access, culture and environmental protection and supporting youth participant and the Olympic movement. On the web page you can find a lot of interesting reading about everything from Mountain medicine to skyrunning. And a lot of inspiration for your upcoming adventures, and very nice pictures and films. When it comes to UIAA world cup 2019 results, we can see that Russia is like Norway in cross country skiing. So, haven’t you been on the site, it worth a visit.
When it comes to gear I think the trousers is an interesting area. I got trousers for; Via Ferrata, climbing indoor, climbing outdoor, cross country skiing, Mountaineering etc. But the questions are, can there be any hybrid that is useful for all activities. I’ve been talking to a couple of stores and their suggestion of this is: Norröna Falketind, I can also se Lundhags Rocketer pants as a good option.
When it comes to clothing overall, spring is the time for news. Paramo is a new brand for us Swedes, with experience from 15years of Mountain rescue they know their area. So, the new Doulogy jacket is nice. Perfect for mountaineering, it got good water resistance a well as spreading moisture quickly. Another new brand will be Sprayway, a UK based company founded in 1974. There Torridon jacket is also an interesting product.
Other interesting area is also the GPS tracker. Spot tracker has been on the market for a couple of years and now some other brand has grab to the market. Protegeara*live is one of them. Garmin has also one model on the market. This one is perfect for the one that is alone on adventures…
This weekend Ive been skiing , sledge dog pulling and Snow mobile driving. a real nice weekend with a lot of Mountains and sun:-)
Now we are in the spring winter. A nice season, which including skiing among a lot of other activities.
If we look into the program you will not be able to sit back and relaxing, which of course also will be
22-24/3 The outdoor fair at Alvsjo,
5-7/4 Ski alpinism weekend at Storulvan. https://www.teamnordictrail.se/loparresor/toppturshelg/
9-14/4 Fjallraven Polar,https://www.press.fjallraven.com/story/fjaellraeven-polar-2019.html
7-14/4 Extreme sports gathering at Riksgransen, https://www.esgwinter.se/
13-18/4 Pure Tarfala,
5-6/4 Keb Classic, http://kebclassic.se/vinter/
18-22/4 Pure Freeride camp, and I will also remind you about that Via Ferrata.se at Skuleberget will
open 1 st of May. So, you don’t need to idle the upcoming period.
The research of trends in the mountain environment. Klas Sandell has done a research about rural
tourism and outdoor life “Landscape relations in change” One of his early findings in the research
was the “sportification and outdoor activities goes indoors. It is a clear shifting to accomplishment,
action and commercialization and equipment. The number of competition such as Kebnekaise Classic
or Vikingarannet is two good examples of this. The measurement of result is important. When it
comes to indoorisation this will mean that typical outdoor activities move indoors, such as climbing
etc. But we can also see VR, white water paddling track indoor and so on. The interesting in this will
be that it will be less important of the “cooperate” with the landscape. In this research the result tells
us that 15-30% prioritize the Swedish mountain environment high. But the result does not tell us if it
is a special area or just the Swedish mountains that is important. Almost the same 10-30% prioritizing
the activity before the location of the activity. The rest in the research in in the between of these
extremes. Today it is 10-15% of the Swedish public that has have some experience of sport and
competition event in the Swedish mountain environment. There is just a few of them who has
participate. About 10% wants to see more of it but more than the half of the asked does not need
this type of activities.
Today there will be an interview with Per Olov Wikberg.
-Hi Per Olov, what is your outdoor background?
Well, the outdoor have always become a main part in my life. Skiing, hunting fishing ski alpinism, well everything. Living in the Jamtland area means that you really got easy to access the outdoor environment…Today I am working at the Swedish Environmental Safety Protection Agency as coordinator for the Mountain safety.
-I heard that the budget for developing the avalanche program has been decreased, what will that have for effect of the area of mountain safety?
We will keep on working within the program, but this will mean that we can’t implement the satellite system for preventing for avalanches in Sweden. The system is developed in Norway and can help to predict the risk situation of avalanches in different areas. Today we got six areas where we are working with avalanche safety program, and we would like to increase with three more areas in the program. Today the program includes the Abisko and Riksgransen, Kebnekaise, Vindlefjällen, Kittelfjallen and Are – Funasfjallen. The result of reduce budget means that those three areas will be delayed. For us is very important to develop the safety. For the last ten years, six persons has died in avalanche accidents in Sweden. The numbers of avalanches will be over a thousand for a year in the Swedish mountain environment
-When it comes to the Mountain safety council, what is the news there?
The decreased budget will of course even affect us here as well. But we still work with developing the Mountain safety program. Today the association contains twenty different organization, which our responsibility is to coordinate them in the Mountain safety area. We schedule two meeting every year and one of them we normally plan for being in field environment. The next meeting will be in National Land Survey authority (Lantmäteriet) offices and one of the topic will of course be about the Mountain maps, the quality and how to distribute them in an efficient way. We also try to update the Mountain leader certification to level 2.0 so a lot of ideas and plans is ongoing.
-I’ve been talking with consumer agency(konsumentverket)t and tried to get some information about statistics about incidents connected to the Mountain leaders and there activities. The answer I got is that nothing has been reported. What do you think about that?
I think this is a culture question. We need to increase the willing of reporting incidents. I think it is hard to report that you as a guide has been involved in an incident/accident. Here we must work tight together with the Mountain Leader Association.
-I guess you been around a lot in the Swedish mountains, what will be your favorite area?
-There are many of course, but the Ljungdals area. When it comes to skiing of course Are will be a easy chose for a Jamtlander. But my special suggestion will be Frostviksfjallen. A very nice area, and an area where you will be on your own. This is a hidden pearl.
-And the coffee, what is your choice there in the outdoor environment on your tours?
-The easiest will be the Nescafe, but if I have the time I will have the coffee fresh boiled in the coffee kettle.
Today it will be about glacier travelling. There is always a risk for crevasses and collapsing snow bridges while crossing glaciers. For that reason, you need to be prepared. You need to have right skills and the right equipment. A rule when you go skating on ice is that you should know how it feels to end up in the water. I think it is the same with crevasses. Have you ever got the feeling of 100kg, and try to stop the fall? First, you need to rope up. Here you got an example for how to do it. Make sure the first and last team-member got enough rope for being able to set up a rescue solution. The problem is the limitation of natural anchors. So, you must bring own equipment for that. A Deadman or a snow stick will help you out with that. You can also improvise with an ice axe, or if it’s possible you can also use Ice screws. You also need to bring equipment for being able to handle a crevasse rescue.
I use an equipment pack with; two ice-screws, one belay(reverso), one 120cm sling, and two pulleys one with self-brake function is to prefer and two lock carabiners. With this set up you will be able to do a rescue.
When travelling on glacier you might be on high altitude as well. Here you must relate to the fact of altitude sickness. About this I and a lot of others has been writing a lot and research 1000 of documents of it. The best way of avoiding the altitude illness will be to do an adequate acclimatization. Over 3000m you should not sleep higher than 300-500m then the night before. It is also important to not exercise hard the first day at high altitude (this will increase the risk of getting HAPE). Well known is that you can use Acetazolamide for preventing AMS. There is a wrong communication in the climbing society that this type of medicine hiding the symptoms of High Altitude Illness. In research studies the result will be speaking. With a dose about 125mg and the treatment should start the day before the person enter the high altitude. The result of the prevention includes; Stimulation of the ventilation, you will sleep better, and the physical capability will be better. Less weight loss, less muscle mass decrees and did better result in physical tests. An important research result is that Dexamethasone is more effective than Acetazolamide when it comes to prevent from AMS. But it does not increase the ventilation at the way as Acetazolamide*) does. Dexamethasone does hide the symptom of AMS and HACE. This medicine could be used within rescue missions.
*) Acetazolamide force the kidneys to produce bicarbonate, which balance the hyperventilating effect at high altitude. This will affect the breathing pattern to become normal especial at sleep. But there is also bi effect within the drug, something you have to consider.
It is Always necessary to develope your knowledge and skills. Good books can help you on the way. Today i will suggest Falcon guides books. A real treasure for us nerds..
I will also test the Ortovox Trad 35 backpack. A backpack for skiing and mountaineering. What I expect for a backpack is that it should be easy to access. It should be light and with straps for equipment. So far I like this one. But I will do a hard test on ski and snowmobile adventure for real feedback.
I will also update with feedback about the Arcteryx jacket Mens Beta SL
Last weekend I spend at Abisko/Bjorkliden for a ice climbing ”clinic”. Tovo Spiral a Swedish/French mountain guide was the mentor. The first day was a lot of controlling skills and tecnique and also traversing on the ice. Real good for develope our skills. The secons day the focus was on buildning belays set up and abseiling. So two real good and exciting Days of ice climbing tecnique… The ice Close to the mountain station was quite ok, but we were hoping to get some more ice, but the weather; rain snow and hail(as usual in the area)
When it comes to workout, it is time for strenghten up legs and the cardiovascular ability. So now it will be focus on hill training, stepp machine etc. So one month of prepairing for the upcoming guiding on skies andsnowshoeing.
When it comes to gear I will have some new test in front of me. A totally new brand Arcteryx will be one. The jacket Beta SL hybrid. A light 2L Gore-Tex Pac-lite. This one will be interesting.
Another intersting thing will be to check the Petzl Micro Traxion pulley. This is a must in the crevasse rescue kit. High efficient with a self locking system, it is a good thing to bring on the glacier..
This week I will present a Swedish nice mountain lodge. The Fjallbacken at Bruksvallarna. Here you can ski, Ice climb and much more. The food is localy produced and will be served in the Helags restaurant.http://www.fjallbacken.se/
Okey, so here I stand in the middle of Life. The risk will be to become a grumpy old man knowing everything in the best way. I Think with the age a good portion of humility would have become. Becuse of having experinece and knowledge it dosent mean it will be a better skill or experinnce comparing to a 20 year old collegue or mate.
With a lot of new upcoming adventures, I will have more humility attitude:-).
When it comes to hotel, I Think I found one of the ones I want to travel to. In Campoluc the cmp zero looks like the paradise. Skiing during the day, and ice/wall climbing as after ski..
Now we passed the first of February and the Winter season is really here. A lot of upcoming adventures is on its way. This time of the year is nice due to that now we can plan for really nice adventures.
In the fashion the outdoor look has been in focus for a couple of years. At the moment the 90s is in the focus, and for example fjallraven and Acne cooperate in designing of clothes. and all of a sudden, the fleece sweater has become hot. The history behind this garment there is a story. It was in the 70s, the climber Yvon Chouinard asked a textile Company in Massachusetts if they could design something better then the woollens that get wet and heavy. So then the soft Shell/fleece was born. And also a new brand, the Patagonia.
And as a coincidence I will review Stellar Equipments M guide Merino mid hood. First of all I like Stellar. Good price and high quality. They also try to be inovaiters. This garment is not a exeption. With a mixture of 18%merino and 76% polyester an 6% elastane it is quite interesting. The hood is big enaugh for a helmet and is to adjust. Two high pockets which not will be in the way of backpacks straps or a climbing harness. If there is any thing I got objection to it will be: lack of drawstring in the waist. And I like clothes that are slim in alpine style, this is a bit of loose style. But overall so far, it is real good.
The North Face has produced a new breathable textile that will be awailable from the autumn this year. The name is futurelight. With a factory that is powered by solar power and with recycled textile it will be real sustainable. It has been tested on Lhotse and Mount Everest.
I will begin with the question about workout for mountaineers. This one is a tricky one, because it depends on what area you will active in. Ski, climbing, mountaineering, glacier hiking, trail-running etc. From my point of view, you first need to build up an endurance capacity. This will be the base you can rely on. Then you need to build up strength and mobility. So, the third part will be the “branch” specific workout and mental strength. The set up for the workout can be divided into three phases. Build-up, strength and cardio and branch specific period. Example: summer mountaineering, Nov-Jan; Build up period, Feb-April Strength and mobility and May-June branch specific period. How will this be practically done? One example: Saturday is endurance day in Buildup period you will be running 15km cross country. In the Strength period you will be doing hill running and end the workout with jumps. In the next period you will be doing hill training with back-pack for 3-5 hours. If you need a specific workout program, you can contact me for a suggestion.
My next topic will be a book. “Välkommen till Fjällvär(l)den.” Which is a book of Pierina Wester. A book that will enthusiast you to new mountain adventures. Here you can read about the Life as a an wardins. I really like this book. With poems and mountain stories it really become an inspiration.
A real cabin story from the Mountains..
Early morning the heat from the stove is still there, even if the room is real cold. We been eight persons snoring the night through,I think at least two of them have been up peeing during the early morning. The smell of sweat and wet wool enfolds the room. My lips and nose tip are cold, and some smoke comes out during my breathing. It is still dark in the room, I put some cloth on and turn on the head lamp. The light lightnings up the room, the shadows is playing in the room. Slowly I start building the fire in the stove. Soon the fire will crackle cozy. Time to start preparing the porridge. Today we will be skiing towards the Valacabins and continue to further to Lunndorren. The journey of the day includes 29km with about 6-7 hours on ski. The daylight starts to come through the window. As we are in March the light starts to come early. Of sudden and there it is, the feeling of expectation and a bit of tension. The feeling is familiar, it wakes me up and gets me dedicated. Now the rest of the crew in cabin start to come alive. We know the routines me and Mattias since all years of night in cabins and Mountain stations. Get up early means we can get away early. The morning is crisp but pleasant. The breakfast of porridge and sandwiches and of course coffee is done in a hurry. After filling up the bucket with water for the rest of the people in the cabin, we are done. The ski boot is on, so now it is time for prepare the skis. The ski vax of the day is put on, and the back pack will be on the back. Breathing in the cold air in the nose and thinking this is the best time of the year. The first part from the cabin is downhill, and there I fall. So ok back to relative, I am not the good, I am just a human lending the mountains for a while:-). The creek is winding around, and we must find a route. The ice is thin at some places, so we have to change route a several of times. It is a small valley with small hills and a lot of mountain birches. Soon we find a way through the terrain and get on the trail towards the first milestone of the day vala-cabins. With Kroktjarnarna to the left and Smällhögarna to the right the view is fabulous. We take a short stop for an avalanche test, and yes it still is a high risk. The wind increases and the last 500m towards the cabin is tough. The hosts and the guest couple look wide-eyed on us. We have not even got the chance to start the coffee making before the questions start hailed. -Where do you come from? Will you stay here tonight? When we answered polite that we were heading for Lunndorren and, just been doing the half of the day’s journey I could see that they thought we was crazy. Doing a two days journey in way day (and the same the day before) Does not always make you to a hero in this area. Either you are knowing what you are doing or either you are a fool. Until you know what, you will be counted as a fool, with all rights. After looking to our equipment and 100 of other question, I think we was counted as mountain men. But with a little bit of sceptics. This story ends here, but the day before with a day in storm and a mountain rescue was not included. Neither the sauna experience at Lunndorren and the reindeer hurdle there. But as Kipling said -that’s another story….
Interview with Eddie Gustin.
Eddie Gustin is a real globetrotter, he has been in 193 different countries. He is working as tour guide, bus driver and leader at the Rosa Bussarna. He knows what it means to travel. He has been travel to North Korea, Colombia and Namibia for mention some of all the countries he been visiting. Today I meet him at a cafe, and I can recognize him instantly. He got that aura of humility and with a alert look. With a soft drink and a coffee the conversation will begin..
What is your background, and how come that you start traveling? -I come from Småland Huskvarna, and my family has always been interesting in travelling. During my youth we went on car trips in Europe, so that was the start I think. But one day a friend of the family came and visit us, and told us his story of interrailing, and a visit in Greece. A funny story of photo from the foot side got me interesting in the idea of travelling. In the adolescence I went on interrailing and also a trip to a pen mate in Brazil. The flight to Brazil was my first flight in life. Quite exiting to do that as the first flight trip. Today I still wondering how I got the guts to do that trip. At that time we only correspond in mail. So I was bit worried standing at a airport in Brazil waiting for my friend. The plan was to be there for one month. But I really liked it and stayed as long as it was possible. That was three months. I was thinking of moving there, but I went on a journey to Canada, Australia and New Zeeland. And then it was time for the service in the Army. So I went on a mission in Bosnia.
-But how did you end up as a tour leader at Rosa Bussarna?
Well, it all started with a 10 week long journey with the Rosa Bussarna as a participant. And as I got the driver license for bus, I joked with the driver. When he went in for a brake I turned the bus around for him. He asked me if I wanted to drive the bus sometimes and so I did. I got the mission to become an extra drivers mission in 98 for a trip to China. But after that I did not get any new assignment as driver. So at that time I worked with 3-4 different jobs to collect money for new journeys. But in 99 I got an assignment as a ”real” driver and I took it. Normally we are three drivers at a trip. One is the main tour guide, one mechanic and one chef. -which country will be your favorite?
Namibia is fabulous, the orange red desert is fantastic…
-You been travelling in 25 years, you been in North Korea how was that tour?
Well, it is a country that I don’t like or dislike. The impact on the environment is much less there than in other countries. It is not so lots of cars etc. So the environment has not been so affected of pollution and so on. -What is the most important quality of a real globetrotter do you think?
Social skills, and you must like humans. Open minded and lots of humility. -And the back side of being globetrotter?
Ha ha, that must be the restlessness.
-And the last question, what coffee do you prefer on your journeys?
The one with other people around. The coffee itself is not the most important. It is to drink it together with others. I can drink the as well, but not with milk. At a police station in Pakistan I got the with milk. Due to the hospitality I had to drink it, and I was ill for three days…
By the way, there is a very interesting Project I got involved in. That will be real interesting..But still a secret…
Risk assessment for outdoor activities.
First of all, why should I do a risk management? For me as a guide it is obvious, but for any one? Well I think it is important from that point of view for being prepared. This will also help you for bringing the right stuff and have tick in the boxes for avoiding accidents and aggravating events. One example where I think this failed was the accident in northern of Norway. Four skiers were caught by an avalanche. They got skills, training and the right equipment as I understood. The failure as I can understand was the missing of a risk assessment and a toughtful professional decision making. I think a professional guide, has not taken the decision to continue into a risky area at that time…that’s why you sometimes should hire a guide, someone you pay for getting professional decisions.
Well, the way of risk assesment can be done in lots of different ways. So, this will just be a suggestion from my side. Do it easy, divided into three parts; Environment*), People and Equipment. Now you can start thinking about how the environment can affect me/us. The weather, inclination, ground, sight etc. How can I get the most updated information of the area? What will be the risks, what can go wrong? How to you grade the risk; high, medium or low. What can be done for preventing the risk from happening? Is the grading after that still the same? Can there be any extra controls, for preventing the risk. When you done, it’s time to go through the two other areas in the same way. Now you got a risk assessment list. Next step which is very important is to define the medical emergency. Estimate your and the groups skills and experience. From that, related to the activity and thing trough what options you got in case of emergency. For example, I always check where the nearest ambulance helicopter base is situated. And also, nearest medical station. What can be the realistic time for a rescue venture?
*) read the map, and always define a escape route for rescue of wounded or for bad weather.
What will you do if the GPS don’t work…?
The art of activity will affect how the risk assement should be done..
(Photo Mattias Jansson)
When it comes to adventure we been to Aldalen for the first ice climb of the season. The cigarr and pelaren was first to be climbed. Early seson means that we cilmbed totally new routes, really nice!